“Welcome to the world of Big Brother!” He says. Alas, we have finally arrived to the destination described by George Orwell in his novel ‘1984’.
The 21st Century brings constructive development in the movement from privatization into the public sphere. Who are we? And why do we exist has never been so far away from the Enlightenment Thinkers of the 18th Century. Now, we gravitate between the real world and the social world. Moreover, the two coexist as consistent parameters of civilization.
It is evident that teaching is a game for Court Jesters. One must perform consistently under alias from the modern world. ‘Mr, Mrs, Sir, Madam’. The naming is irreverent the context is similar. As a teacher, you only exist within the gates of the school yard.
The increase of Social Media has opened our eyes to information sharing and marketing on a whole new level. It has also opened the flood gates for a variety of different problems for the teaching profession. How can we exist professionally and socially?
This indeed leads me to my own personal development of a pseudonym. A name that reflects nothing of my personal identity but has developed into a recognizable and welcome precursor. A personal Enlightenment journey has led to understand the existence of ‘Mango’, does not burden me… As yet.
# Teachers can have social profiles.
# Teachers can not have inappropriate content on their page, by inappropriate I refer to alcohol related activities.
# Teachers can use social media as innovative teaching practices.
# Teachers can not have students as friends.
# Teachers must understand that by default association they have a public profile and their digital footprint affects the school as a whole.
# Teachers can not live as people, but as walking advertisements of a Sir and Madam Education Institution.
So, when did teachers cease to be people? And when did this Duty of Care take a hold of my oxygen?
It is this fear that has led me to walk in another career direction. To develop my professional identity as an entity of it’s own.
The expectations are clear, no digital dossier is the only option. So, what do you do if you the social world is where you want to move into? What if your digital footprint becomes too recognizable that it impacts your professional image?
“To be or not to be?” That is still the universal question. Shakespeare poses this fundamental question timelessly and we still have no answer.
I do hope that some concessions develop before the explosion of the social world dictates reality, or worse the Industrial Revolution Education System fails to acknowledge the children of the 21st Century.(1)
I hope that privacy settings still allow us to remain private. That we can exist socially without the fear of a leaked professional image.
The answer: ‘do not create social profiles’. For those of you who think you escape the social realm, you do not. The existence of your friends and family having profiles will leave you traceable on the Internet. By default you exist without consent. Facebook’s Facial Recognition will enable tracking of faces to be catalogued.
Say goodbye to reality and welcome to a heightened social connectiveness.
“We believe in ourselves because we hope to believe.” ~Mango